Occupational Therapists (OTs) are trained to provide therapeutic responses to patients struggling with physical ailments. Their primary duty is to assist people of all age group to engage in their daily activities independently. The injuries, diseases, disorders, disability, and age-related problems affect daily functioning of patients. They find it difficult to perform everyday activities independently. In this respect, the role of Occupational Therapists and Assistant Occupational Therapists is vital because they help these people participate in their everyday activities (ADL). With therapeutic treatments and engagements, they infuse new life and energy in these people and assist them to overcome their disabilities and function in their environments. The course of treatment covers different aspects like therapeutic, environmental, physical, cognitive, and psychological.
The difference between Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists lies in their treatment procedures. Physical Therapists are medical professionals and provide direct care to patients struggling with health conditions and impairments through diseases, injuries, and disabilities.
Occupational Therapists assist patients in coping with their impairments and disabilities through support activities and therapies. They help patients develop and improve skills to perform their everyday activities independently in all environments and manage their conditions.
OTs also plays an important role in health promotion of people struggling with chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014 report, seventy-five percent of the funds for healthcare spent on treating chronic diseases. The PEW Centre research report also informs that 45 percent of US adults live with one or more chronic conditions like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The report also says that 75 percent of aging population over 65 years are struggling with chronic conditions. The chronic conditions are also a major cause of impairments, disabilities, and deaths in the USA.
In this respect, the role of Occupational Therapists is vital for promoting the health of the people, reducing the cost of care, and improving the quality of life and patients experience. They support individuals to participate fully in their activities of daily livings (ADL) in all environments and live meaningful and productive life. The first task is to evaluate the condition of the patient and after assessing, they begin interventions in collaboration with caregivers and patients. They ascertain the extent of impairments and disabilities, and its effect on patient’s activities of daily livings, and physical and psychosocial health.
Their treatment procedures include modifying their lifestyle, and their physical and psychosocial rehabilitation. They assist patients in performing their daily tasks independently, managing their diseases and impairments, and teach them effective health management techniques. They promote self-management and help patients manage their conditions independently. They prepare and assist patients in taking control of their life and health conditions responsibly, and spend a productive life in their environments.